The Working for Water Programme in South Africa: The Science Behind the Success

Hobbs, R.J.

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The Working for Water programme is remarkable in many ways, but in particular it has had extraordinary success in linking pressing environmental, social and economic issues in a country with many such issues to deal with. The initial premise that invasive plant species, particularly woody species from Australia and elsewhere, posed a major threat to the extraordinary biodiversity found in South Africa, and in particular the Cape region was complemented by research indicating that invasive woody species were likely to use more water than the native vegetation and hence would reduce runoff into streams, adversely affecting water supplies. This and subsequent research was then communicated by a special working group of scientists to key politicians in the newly elected democratic government.

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Peer-reviewed Article

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